Easy Stuffed Peppers

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Stuffed Peppers seem fancy but it’s an easy way to serve peppers! Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty ground beef, sausage, rice, and tomato filling. Top it all with cheese and bake until bubbly. 

Serve these with a fresh salad and some crusty bread (for sopping up any sauce).

Stuffed Peppers in clear glass baking dish

Ingredients

Stuffed Bell Peppers are easy to make and everyone loves them!

  • MEAT We fill these with a mixture of beef and sausage but you can use one or the other (or even ground turkey if you prefer)
  • RICE I use long grain white rice but I do sometimes replace the rice with Cauliflower Rice.
  • SAUCE Use your fave marinara sauce or pasta sauce. Add in some herbs (fresh if you’ve got them) and onions. If you like a little heat, stir in some chili flakes.

Peppers for Stuffed Peppers

While I used green peppers in this recipe, any color bell pepper (red/yellow/orange) will work just fine. The peppers do have different flavors so it can depend on your personal taste preference.

  • Green peppers are a bit zestier and we love the flavor with the filling mixture.
  • If you like sweeter peppers, red, yellow, or orange are great options.

Stuffed Pepper recipe ingredients in a pot

How to make Stuffed Peppers

My friends often ask me how to make stuffed bell peppers and my response is always the same – it’s so easy! While these may look difficult, if you follow these easy steps, you will have perfect stuffed peppers every time!

  1. Brown meat, onion, and garlic (per recipe below). Add tomato sauce, rice and seasonings and cook until rice is tender.
  2. While the filling is cooking, prepare your peppers by simmering 5 minutes to soften or even bake them in the oven for 15 minutes if you’d like.
  3. Fill peppers with pasta sauce, meat and rice mixture. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly!

I usually cut my peppers across the top but you can also cut them top to bottom to make smaller portions (like in these Mexican Stuffed Peppers).

Do You Have to Pre-cook the Peppers Before Stuffing Them?  No you don’t have to precook the peppers, but they do stay quite crisp if you don’t pre-cook them. I think they’re better if you pre-cook them a bit.

Stuffed Peppers in baking dish with tomato sauce

How Long to Cook Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers should be cooked at about 350°F for about 45 minutes. Be sure to cover with foil during the initial 30-35 minutes to ensure they do not dry out. Uncover and top with cheese and bake for the remaining 10 minutes or so until brown and bubbly.

Great Sides

This dish goes well with a fresh salad and bread. Here are some favorites:

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish

Make Ahead & Leftovers

Stuffed peppers can be frozen and they are a great make-ahead meal!

To Freeze Stuffed Peppers prepare and bake as directed below. They can be frozen individually or together in a baking dish. To re-heat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through.

Stuffed Pepper being lifted out of baking dish
4.97 from 280 votes
Review Recipe

Easy Stuffed Peppers

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Tender bell peppers stuffed with a zesty beef and rice filling with tomato sauce are baked until bubbly.

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers
  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can small diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces
  • ½ cup white rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 ½ cups marinara sauce divided
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the tops off the peppers (reserve the tops), remove seeds and membranes and discard. Chop tops of the peppers to add to the filling.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook peppers 5 minutes. Remove and drain well.
  • In a large skillet, brown beef, sausage, onion & garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat. 
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes with juice, rice, 1 ¼ cup water, diced pepper tops, Worcestershire sauce, and Italian seasoning.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. You can add more water if needed. Stir in ½ cup marinara sauce.
  • Place 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Fill each pepper with the rice mixture. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over peppers.
  • Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil, baste peppers with any sauce in the bottom. Top with cheddar and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and peppers are tender.

Recipe Notes

If you want firmer/tender-crisp peppers, skip the boiling step and bake as directed.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 385, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 922mg, Potassium: 933mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 4255IU, Vitamin C: 166.8mg, Calcium: 137mg, Iron: 3.7mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Beef, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Stuffed Peppers in a dish with writing
Stuffed Peppers with writing
close up of Stuffed Peppers before cooking with a title
ingredients to make Stuffed Peppers with final dish and a title
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Don’t forget to add salt! Somewhere around 1 teaspoonfull. We like to add canned corn, red pepper flakes, and cheese (or cheeses) to the mix and line the bottom of the peppers with cheese as well before filling them. We also make extra filling to freeze and use for a faster dinner later.5 stars

  2. I made these exactly as the recipe is written and it was fabulous! Thanks for sharing your recipes with us! I wouldn’t look for recipes online if I thought my version was the best, so please ignore those who choose to be critical and write that their recipe is better! Keep up these great recipes you are putting out there for us, your website is the first site I check when I want exact ingredients and procedures!5 stars

    1. Hi Sarah, this is to fully cook the pepper and heat everything inside and then to melt the cheese added on top. Hope that helps!

  3. The base of the recipe is good for a general understanding/guideline, but it just lacks some seasonings.
    Needs salt or salt substitute.
    You can be more generous with the Italian seasoning and Worcestershire sauce.
    Coarse ground pepper is delicious in anything, and as always I was generous.
    I used some old bay seasoning.
    When cooking the rice in the mixture you may need to add some sort of extra stock or water as necessary, if the rice isn’t tender yet, as you’ll need more moisture.
    Garlic toast goes with this perfectly.4 stars

      1. Love your recipes and ideas, Holly! I truly admire your patience, tact and diplomacy when people feel the need to correct your recipes instead of just saying they chose to do something a bit different. But I suspect you are handling it by calling them out without calling them out.

        So for all of you that either don’t like the recipe or cannot handle something about it, change it for yourself and/or just move on!

  4. The perfect stuffed pepper recipe! I made it with Impossible Burger meat. The stuffing was so good my husband and I debated just grabbing forks and eating out of the pan! Glad we waited for the finished product as the pepper and cheese were the compliment that makes stuffed peppers special. I followed the recipe (unusual for me) and boiled the peppers which enhanced the peppers.5 stars

  5. These were excellent!!! I was generous w/the marinara sauce & I made your cheesy garlic breadsticks (I added “everything bagel” seasoning as well as minced garlic & cheese to the sticks) to mop up any sauce & it was phenomenal! I absolutely love your blog. I cook for 7 so I just double the recipes. You’re a lifesaver & your recipes kick butt!5 stars

    1. So happy you are enjoying our recipes, Chelsea! You additions for this recipe sound amazing, thanks for sharing!

  6. I used Uncle Ben’s beef rice and layered with Guda cheese in bottom, middle and top, WOW was that delicious!!!5 stars

  7. Very good recipe except our complaint first time making this was it needed some kind of sodium. 2nd time, I changed white rice to a 5 grain wild rice and added a teaspoon of concentrated beef stock with the water. I am happy with the peppers being softer! hubby liked it tons too5 stars

  8. This was the best stuffed green pepper recipe I have ever made, I served corn bread with it and nothing else, it is a complete meal

  9. To precook my peppers, I use an electric skillet and 2 cups of water, placed cleaned peppers in and cook at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or desired doneness. Remove and place on paper towels. Drain water and cook the filling in the electric skillet. A lot easier and not so many pots to wash, or waiting for the water to heat.